CHR lauds QC’s Right to Care card, calls for more policies for LGBTQIA+
MANILA, Philippines— The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Tuesday applauded the Quezon City (QC) local government’s “Right to Care” card project, which empowers the city’s resident same-sex couples to make healthcare decisions for each other.
“CHR commends the Quezon City local government for their efforts to make healthcare more accessible and inclusive to members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI) community by launching the Right to Care card,” said the CHR in a statement.
“We laud their initiative to embody the values promoted by the equal protection principles affirmed in the 1987 Constitution’s Bill of Rights and Yogyakarta Principles, among others,” it went on.
Launched on June 24, the Right to Care card is a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) document that authorizes same-sex couples to decide on the kinds of treatments, tests, and prescriptions their partners shall receive.
The CHR stressed that this project— led by Mayor Joy Belmonte and creative agency MullenLowe TREYNA— is a monumental move for gender equality in the city as medical facilities previously only accepted healthcare insights from legal spouses of next of kin, excluding same-sex partners from the discussion.
“This is a commendable move that concretely recognizes autonomy and personal choice by granting LGBTQI couples the right to make medical decisions for their partners as needed. It recognizes their unique and intimate knowledge of their partner’s preferences, needs, medical history, support, among others,” lauded the human rights body.
“The initiative also guarantees that the partner is kept abreast about their loved one’s condition and progress, which helps ensure information access and confidentiality,” the CHR added.
The Right to Care program will initially run only in government hospitals within QC, but will soon expand to both public and private QC-based hospitals once the local government has sealed the respective partnerships.
CHR also added that the Right to Care card concretely honors and protects queer couples in legal and healthcare matters, “thus preventing exclusion, discrimination, and denial of information or participation.”
Additionally, the CHR highlights that such legislation would “alleviate the stress and anxiety during difficult hospitalization periods by allowing the LGBTQI members to actively contribute and participate in the care and well-being of their partner.”
The commission then called for more legislation to safeguard the rights of queer Filipinos nationwide.
“In order to attain genuine equality in society, accessibility to services—such as, but not limited to healthcare—must be guaranteed regardless of gender and sexual orientation,” the CHR said.
“No less than President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. stated that members of the LGBTQI community must be supported, respected, and freed from all forms of discrimination. We are hopeful that this will help propel the urgent passage of the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, or Sex Characteristics equality bill,” concluded the human rights ombudsman.